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Wounded Fort Hood soldier: 'Blood just everywhere'

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Victim describes shooting
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spc. Logan Burnette's original day at Fort Hood turned to nightmare
  • Burnette says he threw table at accused shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan
  • Burnette is being transferred to same hospital that houses Hasan

KILLEEN, Texas (CNN) -- Spc. Logan Burnette arrived at Fort Hood, Texas, a week ago Wednesday to prepare for an upcoming tour of Iraq. The following day, he, like all deploying soldiers, reported to the "ready room" on post to fill out final paperwork.

However, what was to be another day of the mundane erupted into hell on Earth.

Burnette heard shots, though that's a sound to which soldiers grow accustomed. He had been hearing blanks for many months of training.

But on November 5 at Fort Hood, he quickly understood that something was terribly wrong when he saw the blood -- crimson everywhere.

"Seeing bullet wounds in the back of a friend's head, seeing friends grabbing their arms, and blood just everywhere. It's a pretty hard thing to see," Burnette recalled.

"And not having any way to defend yourself."

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The gunman had been in the room for a while and had perfectly blended in with his Army combat uniform, his gold major rank emblazoned on his chest. No one had reason to pay him heed, Burnette said.

When the madness began, the gunman popped up like a target at a shooting range. He just stood up and started firing methodically and with precision.

He reloaded. And fired. Reloaded. And fired again.

"He was very swift, very tactical," said Burnette, sitting in a wheelchair at the Metroplex Adventist Hospital near Fort Hood, his left arm and hand bandaged.

The mass shooting last week was the deadliest ever on a U.S. military base. Twelve soldiers and one civilian were killed; more than 40 others were wounded.

Fifteen soldiers remained hospitalized on Wednesday, four in intensive care, according to Fort Hood spokesman Col. James Rossi.

They were victims of a soldier who turned on his own, authorities say.

Burnette saw the laser sights on the gunman's weapon. The shooter looked serious, intent. He screamed at the top of his lungs, "Allahu akbar," which means 'God is great' in Arabic.

Burnette dropped to the floor, hugging the ground for dear life. His mind was spinning. What insanity was this?

"Once I saw the blood, I realized I had to move," he said. "I had to get out of there."

Burnette began to stand up and noticed the gunman was pointing in his direction. He picked up a folding table next to him -- it was the heaviest object he could see -- and hurled it toward the shooter. He knew it would draw the gunman's attention and divert his line of sight from others.

Burnette said he wasn't trying to play a hero.

"There are guys overseas doing more than what I did," he said. "I just happened to be at a certain place at a certain time in the world and hopefully I made a difference."

But that's when he got hit. He took a round that pierced his hip on the left side and tore through his abdomen.

"After the hit, I fell down, not even realizing I had been hit," he said. "As I tried to get back up, I was shot in the elbow on the left arm and ... the knuckle on the left pinky finger."

He was like a wounded animal desperate to escape the hunter's aim.

"He wanted to kill all of us," Burnette said. "We were all unarmed."

Burnette's gut felt like a knife slicing through it. He couldn't feel his leg. His left arm was numb, too. He stared at it and thought of those dummy arms that people buy at Halloween.

"Oh my God," he thought. "This guy shot me."

Burnette began moving with every ounce of strength he could muster and hid in a nearby cubicle. The gunman had started moving to the other side of the building, reloading and shooting. Reloading and shooting.

Burnette knew he had to get out of that building.

"As I started to run, I fell again, not realizing I couldn't use my left leg."

After falling, Burnette said, he "threw all of my body weight ... towards that door as hard and as fast as possible."

"Once I hit that front door, I began to low crawl, about five meters up a hill just, you know, pushing my body forward with everything I had," he said.

A staff sergeant grabbed him by his uniform collar and dragged him into an office and locked the door.

"Everything is going to be all right," the sergeant told him, as he began administering first aid. Burnette said he doesn't know the sergeant's name, but he will recognize him instantly if their paths ever cross again.

"Our Father who art in heaven ... hallowed be thy name."

Burnette, a practicing Catholic, lie on the ground, repeating the prayer over and over again. He didn't know whether he would see his wife again.

A week later, Burnette has undergone two operations and still has a bullet lodged in his right hip. On Wednesday, he was making his way to the Army's Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, for further treatment.

He knows that's where Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused shooter, is also being treated.

"I can't really think about it," Burnette said. "I have a lot of faith in our military, our judicial system -- and God."

Soldiers are taught from day one that you help the wounded, even when they are enemies in combat, even the guy who shot you.

"Don't get me wrong," he said, "Everything in your heart wants to [unleash] anger at this person, but we have to trust that our system works somehow.

"By no means am I happy that he is in better shape than a lot of my comrades," Burnette said about the suspect. "But I'm not here to play God, either."

Ultimately, Burnette said, he is sorry for a man who feels the need to execute unarmed personnel, his comrades, in the name of God.

Does he pity the Fort Hood shooter? "Yeah," he said, pausing. "To an extent."

CNN's Sanjay Gupta and Danielle Dellorto contributed to this report.